A rather humorous, tongue-in-cheek way to pass the time at your trade show and make some lively new connections at the same time.
Make money, develop relationships and show off a world beating product is not everybody’s cup of tea. Instead why not try to party in the booth, nab a salesman for lunch, and play a drinking game…?
Trade Shows are of course a serious exhibition for making millions of pounds, boosting your company’s growth and developing something or other that makes those numbers fly. Right?
Notwithstanding the seriousness of a company’s marketing plan, using humour in times of economic negativity is in fact a brilliant device to engage consumers and clients as we all need some light hearted cheering up and a return of investment can also be measured through people and not just numbers.
And don’t forget… whilst you are enjoying yourself at your trade exhibition your trade stand can be fun and exciting too. There is no longer any need to just have a few boring pin boards and one or two uninteresting tables with your products on. An innovative eye catching trade stand will help you to stand out from the crown and draw people in.
Check out this great video of a fun and vibrant exhibition stand by Nimlok Exhibitor in 2011.
Then read on to enjoy some unique ways to make an impact at your next trade show whilst entertaining yourself too.
Trade shows for both the serious and the light-hearted are about engaging unpredictable, ego eccentric and charming people who can offer attractive and articulate communication and services. They are complimentary business events with very interesting people, but over the course of a long trade-show you may need to keep yourself entertained to pass the time and enjoy yourself in the heat of the business competition.
Here are ten top tips which may raise an eyebrow or two and will certainly give you something to look forward to at your trade show if nothing else.
1. Arrange to go out with one of the sales staff for lunch and then sneak back to the booth later and ask his boss out for dinner; repeat throughout the show.
This could cost you a bit but if you let them do all the talking and you simply listen to their patter about their product with an interested look on your face, it’s high odds they will either “go dutch” OR better still pay the whole bill. Either way you make new connections and you could come away with a great deal OR at least a free dinner.
2. Play the drinking game: When an annoying salesman asks you a question take a slow long hard swig of water whilst pulling your stoniest Clint Eastwood face and say ‘I don’t like your attitude’. The person with the most shocked salesman wins.
OK in all fairness to salesmen they are sometimes a good bunch of people just doing their job. Give em a pat on the back for being a good sport and at least make them feel good by taking their contact details
3. Find the “techiest” nerd in the booths, ask for a demonstration on the product and when it’s your turn keep getting it wrong deliberately. Enough to test the strongest of nerves until he works out what your game is.
Don’t forget to praise his patience later and swap business cards at the very least.
4. Compliment the exhibition stand designers for the best product demonstrations and showcases, ensuring you go over the top and avoid paying any attention to the featured product or service.
Enough to test any exhibitor and it gets really interesting to watch out how skilled they might be to divert your interest from just the exhibition stand towards their own product.
5. Collect giveaways from various exhibitors and then return them to different exhibitors, try and add to the confusion and muddle as much as possible.
You are actually doing each of them a big favour whilst putting yourself around a bit with a wide smile on your face. Sell yourself as someone who loves to help others. This takes the pressure off you whilst making a new connection and usually they will be only too pleased to take your contact details and learn a bit more about you too.
6. Visit your competitors at the show and ask challenging questions you know they can’t answer; enjoy watching them squirm.
Even if they are answering you incorrectly (because of course you already know the answer to your question) make sure you nod in agreement and show an interest in all they have to say so as not to leave them feeling humiliated. Tell them you would like to talk more about your questions and get their email address or connection on a social network. That way you can say you found out some interesting stuff re your question and guide them through their new learning. They will be thankful and you will have formed a nice new connection/business relationship.
7. Walk past the trade booth look interested, and just as somebody tries to engage you, bolt as fast as possible.
They won’t approach you a second time as they know you are going to run off as soon as they make a move. This way you can browse their stand in peace and they will leave you alone letting you approach them in your own good time.
8. Ask a few of your target connections to join you in the City’s activities out of hours. There may be local tourist attractions and events; Milton Keynes for example has an indoor snow dome.
This is so much fun and a brilliant way to make those new connections in a fun and informal atmosphere. The business talk will be easier after general chat and having fun first.
9. Find a booth that has music playing and start dancing; see if you can get any of the staff or even passers by to join in.
Someone somewhere is going end up videoing these antics and they are bound to post it out on Facebook or Twitter or even Youtube. If you can catch them at it …then ask them to please tell everyone who you are and remember to give them your business card!
10. Tweet your antics from the trade-show booth and talk to the rest of the world.
Keep your tweets lively and entertaining and make sure you add some photos and short video clips if you can. If you are really clever and have your phone activated to receive @responses then you can BRING your followers into the trade exhibition without them even leaving the comfort of their own homes.